Time could do Guarana good as Cotillion Stakes favorite

Parx Racing Notes
September 19, 2019 03:41pm
Time could do Guarana good as Cotillion Stakes favorite
Photo: Elsa Lorieul/NYRA

Three Chimneys Farm’s Guarana aced her third test in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) in late July at Saratoga, which allowed trainer Chad Brown to start thinking about two months down the road.

He skipped right past late August, eschewing the Alabama (G1) for the daughter of Ghostzapper and instead targeting Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing.

“We’ve been pointing for this race for a while,” Brown said this week from his office at Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track. “She’s had plenty of time to recover since her last race and we were glad to give her that time.”

The Cotillion, a “Win and You’re In” race that carries an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, attracted a field of 11 3-year-old fillies. Guarana, the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the deep group, looks to enhance what might be extremely strong credentials toward the 3-year-old filly championship come season’s end.

“We’re still taking it a race at a time,” Brown said. “We really hadn’t planned past this race, but if she performs well we’d have to keep her under consideration for the Distaff.”

Guarana drew post 8 for the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion inside of strong contenders Bellafina (post 10) and champion Jaywalk (11) and to the outside of expected pacesetter and Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress (1) and Indiana Oaks winner Street Band.

Brown likes the post for Guarana, who won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race at Keeneland by 14 3/4 lengths in her debut then topped Serengeti Empress in the Acorn Stakes (G1) going a mile on Belmont Stakes Day in her second start. She drew post 1 for the CCA Oaks and led the field from gate-to-wire, winning by a length from Black-Eyed Susan winner Point of Honor.

Guarana breezed seven times between the CCA Oaks and the Cotillion, with five works at Saratoga and two at Belmont Park. Her final work for the Cotillion was a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.10 last Saturday at Belmont.

“I couldn’t be happier with her the way she’s training,” Brown said. “It’s a very solid race. She drew well, in the clear there a bit. She’s really doing well. The distance of a mile and a sixteenth will help her, too.

"I wasn’t really looking to get her out to a mile and a quarter. The Cotillion makes a lot of sense and we’ll see how she does.”

2019 Cotillion (G1)


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